Cairn Terrier Toby is Quantock Pet of the Month!

24 Jul 2018 | Pet of the month

There are a few really ‘BIG’ medical emergencies – emergencies that are life threatening, really challenging to treat, complicated and highly intensive. Toby – a lovely little Cairn Terrier who wasn’t yet six year’s old – suffered from perhaps one of the most serious combinations of these emergency conditions.

Mrs Neale, Toby’s owner rushed him in for an emergency appointment early one Sunday morning. Toby had been losing weight, drinking excessively and had just started repeatedly vomiting. He was a shadow of his normal self and looking very poorly when he was admitted into the Hospital that morning.

After a series of blood and diagnostic tests run in the Hospital we diagnosed a number of serious problems. Each of them in their own right was serious and potentially life threatening – combined together we were facing a very critical situation. Toby was diagnosed that day with a newly developed diabetic crisis (diabetic ketoacidosis), acute pancreatitis and a respiratory condition (likely caused by aspiration of vomit). Intensive care treatment was immediately implemented to treat each of these conditions. The challenge of this combination of conditions was that they were highly dynamic and changing hour by hour and they each made the other more difficult and challenging to treat. Emergency intensive care treatment involved the use of multiple drugs, intravenous infusions of insulin, multiple different intravenous electrolyte and glucose infusions, and serial hourly blood tests.

The whole team was involved, working around the clock to try to stabilize and treat Toby. Despite success in the initial stabilization we could not get Toby feeling well enough to eat – eating is critical for our treatment and management of diabetes, as well as for Toby’s overall condition. A decision was made with Mrs Neal to surgically place a feeding tube – a tube that goes through the skin at the side of the neck directly into the oesophagus so that we could take over Toby’s nutrition and syringe a liquid critical care food directly into his stomach. Placing this feeding tube was the beginning of the turning point for Toby – we could now control all the key elements to get his conditions under control. Regular tube feeding was another highly time consuming treatment for our nursing team to manage,

Toby was hospitalized and in intensive care for 12 days, at the end of which he trotted out, and went home with Mrs Neale!

Mrs Neale explained “Our lovely Cairn Terrier Toby was a bit over weight, we called him Tubby, so he went on a diet. Our old dog Pepper was ill so I was not surprised when someone was drinking all the water and wetting in the night. I didn’t think it could be Toby. Then I thought Toby was losing a bit too much weight so I decided to take him into Quantock Vets to have him weighed the following Monday but he suddenly went downhill. Early Sunday morning he started vomiting violently and I knew we couldn’t wait another day. I had to get him into the Vets as soon as possible.

“Dominic and his team went into action straight away so I knew he was in safe hands but it wasn’t until I spoke to him later that the seriousness of his condition was apparent. I was so worried and felt guilty that I hadn’t spotted his symptoms earlier. I didn’t even know dogs could be diabetic.

“I was consulted and reassured all through his treatment and the dedication and love Toby must have felt helped him have the will to live. It was difficult at times to know how he was recovering as he is such a chilled out dog you would think he was in a coma when he was just asleep, which is 90% of the time, and lets you do whatever he needs without any fuss.

“After a traumatic 12 days it was lovely to get him home but I know it is thanks to everyone at Quantock vets that this has been possible.
Thank you once again for giving us our Toby back, you are all wonderful.”

Mr and Mrs Neale have learnt how to administer the twice daily insulin injections needed for the long term treatment of his diabetes. We have seen Toby regularly since for check ups and follow-up tests and each time he has looked better and better – now he is back to his right weight, bright, happy and glossy!

Dominic Phillips added “To deliver this level of care 24 hours a day, day after day was a massive challenge for our clinical team of vets and nurses – it required our full capacity and capability as a Veterinary Hospital to treat Toby. There were many exhausted nurses and vets during those twelve days – however when we all see Toby now – the sense of achievement and the pride is massive – this is why we became and are nurses and vets!”

Huge congratulations to Toby – and his loving owners Mr and Mrs Neale for their compassion and dedication!